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But when he came to Barnesdale,

Great heavinesse there hee hadd,
For he found tow of his owne fellowes

Were slaine both in a slade.
And Scarlette he was flying a-foote

Faste over stocke and stone,
For the sheriffe with seven score men

Fast after him is gone.
“One shoote now I will shoote,” quoth John,

“ With Christ his might and mayne; Ile make yond fellow that flyes soe fast,

To stopp he shall be fayne.”
Then John bent up his long bende-bowe,

And fetteled him to shoote :
The bow was made of tender boughe,

And fell down to his foote.
“Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood,

That ere thou grew on a tree; For now this day thou art my bale,

My boote when thou shold bee." His shoote it was but loosely shott,

Yet flewe not the arrowe in vaine,
For itt mett one of the sherriffes men,

Good William a Trent was slaine.
It had bene better of William a Trent

To have bene abed with sorrowe,
Than to be that day in the green-wood slade

To meet with Little Johns arrowe.
But as it is said, when men be mett

Fyve can doe more than three, The sheriffe hath taken Little John,

And bound him fast to a tree. “Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,

And hanged hye on a hill;”. “But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose," quoth John,

“ If itt be Christ his will."

Lett us leave talking of Little John,

And thinke of Robin Hood,
How he is gone to the wight yeoman,

Where under the leaves he stood. “Good morrowe, good fellowe," sayd Robin so fayre,

“Good morrowe, good fellow," quoth he. “ Methinks by this bowe thou beares in thy hande, 95

A good archere thou sholdst bee." “I am wilfulle of my waye," quo' the yeman,

“ And of my morning tyde :” “ Ile lead thee through the wood,” sayd Robin, “Good fellow, Ile be thy guide.”

100 “I seeke an outlàwe,” the straunger sayd,

“Men call him Robin Hood; Rather Ild meet with that proud outlàwe

Than fortye pound soe good.” “Now come with me, thou wight yemàn,

105 And Robin thou soone shalt see; But first let us some pastime find

Under the greenwood tree. “ First let us some masterye make Among the woods so even;

110 We may chance to meet with Robin Hood

Here att some unsett steven.”
They cutt them down two summer shroggs,

That grew both under a breere,
And sett them threescore rood in twaine,

115 To shoote the prickes y-fere. “ Leade on, good fellowe,” quoth Robin Hood,

« Leade on, I doe bidd thee.” “ Nay, by my faith, good fellowe,” hee sayd, “My leader thou shalt bee.”

120 The first time Robin shot at the pricke,

He mist but an inch it fro;
The yeoman he was an archer good,

But he cold never shoote soe.

· 125



The second shoote had the wightye yemàn,

He shote within the garlànde;
But Robin he shott far better than hee,

For he clave the good pricke-wande.
“ A blessing upon thy heart,” he sayd,

"Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode;
For an thy hart be as good as thy hand,

Thou wert better then Robin Hoode.
"Now tell me thy name, good fellowe,” sayd he,

“ Under the leaves of lyne."
“ Nay, by my faith," quoth bolde Robìn,

“ Till thou have told me thine."
“I dwell by dale and downe,” quoth hee,

“ And Robin to take Ime sworne ;
And when I am called by my right name,

I am Guy of good Gisbòrne.”
“My dwelling is in this wood,” sayes Robin,

“By thee I set right nought:
I am Robin Hood of Barnèsdale,

Whom thou so long hast sought.”
He that had neither beene kithe nor kin,

Might have seen a full fayre sight,
To see how together these yeomen went

With blades both browneo and bright:



• The common epithet for a sword or other offensive weapon, in the old metrical romances, is brown: as “brown brand,” or “brown sword: brown bill," &c., and sometimes even “ bright brown sword.” Chaucer applies the word rustie in the same sense; thus he describes the Reve; “And by his side he bare a rustie blade.”

Prol. ver. 620. And even thus the god Mars : “And in his hand he had a rousty sword.”

Test. of Cressid. 188.

Spenser has sometimes used the same epithet: see Warton's Observ. vol. ii. p. 62. It should seem from this particularity, that our ancestors did not pique themselves upon keeping their weapons bright: perhaps they deemed it more honourable to carry them stained with the blood of their enemies.





To see how these yeomen together they fought

Two howres of a summers day, Yett neither Robin Hood nor Sir Guy

Them fettled to flye away.
Robin was reachles on a roote,

And stumbled at that tyde;
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all,

And hitt him ore the left side.
“ Ah, deere Lady," sayd Robin Hood tho,

“ Thou art but mother and may'; I think it was never mans destinye

To dye before his day."
Robin thought on Our Ladye deere,

And soone leapt up againe,
And strait he came with a ' backward'stroke,

And he Sir Guy hath slayne.
He took Sir Guys head by the hayre,

And stuck itt upon his bowes end :
“ Thou hast beene a traytor all thy liffe,

Which thing must have an end." Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe,

And nicked Sir Guy in the face,
That he was never on woman born

Cold tell whose head it was.
Sayes, “ Lye there, lye there now, Sir Guy,

And with me be not wrothe;
Iff thou have had the worst strokes at my hand,

Thou shalt have the better clothe.”
Robin did off his gowne of greene,

And on Sir Guy did throwe, And hee put on that capull hyde,

That cladd him topp to toe. “ The bowe, the arrowes, and litle horne,

Now with me I will beare; For I will away to Barnèsdale, To see how my men doe fare."

Ver. 163, awkwarde, MS.



180 185




Robin Hood sett Guys horne to his mouth,

And a loud blast in it did blow:
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham,

As he leaned under a lowe.
“ Hearken, hearken,” sayd the sheriffe,

“I heare nowe tydings good, For yonder I heare Sir Guys horne blowe,

And he hath slaine Robin Hoode.
“ Yonder I heare Sir Guys horne blowe,

Itt blowes soe well in tyde,
And yonder comes that wightye yeomàn,

Cladd in his capull hyde.
“ Come hyther, come hyther, thou good Sir Guy,

Aske what thou wilt of mee.” “O I will none of thy gold,” sayd Robin,

“Nor I will none of thy fee. “But now I have slaine the master,” he sayes,

“Let me goe strike the knave; For this is all the rewarde I aske,

Nor noe other will I have.” “ Thou art a madman,” said the sheriffe,

“ Thou sholdst have had a knightes fee; But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad,

Well granted it shale be.”
When Little John heard his master speake,

Well knewe he it was his steven;
“Now shall I be looset," quoth Little John,

“ With Christ his might in heaven.” Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John,

He thought to loose him belive: The sheriffe and all his companye

Fast after him can drive. “ Stand abacke, stand abacke,” sayd Robin;

“Why draw you mee so neere? Itt was never the use in our countryè,

Ones shrift another shold heere.”





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